UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)

UNITEDNATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)

POSITIONPAPER

SAFEGUARDINGWORLD HERITAGE

InstitutionalAffiliations

Theheritage of a nation based on cultural and natural properties servesa significant role in the attraction of tourists who visit thecountry to enjoy them. However, the availability of these magnificentsceneries requires protection from natural as well as man-madedisasters threatening their value and integrity. The deterioration ofthese excellent properties would bring about adverse effects bothlocally and internationally. The effects may affect their culturalsignificance as a source of information based on past experiences aswell as the natural significance as a source of identity. Mexicoprides itself as one of the best tourist attractions across the worldfor harboring the coastal lagoons of Ojo de Liebre as well as SanIgnacio. The importance of these sites entails the fact that theyprovide suitable locations for the blue and gray whales to reproduce.Besides, they provide homes for about four species of the endangeredmarine turtle. However, despite the significance of these sites,there exist threats such as deterioration caused by human and naturalsources, extraction of natural resources and developmental pressuresemanating from demographic growth.

Additionally,other threats include uncontrolled tourism resulting from inadequatevisitor management as well as unclear clarification in defining theproperty and its boundaries. According to Röttjer (2015), some ofthe major threats affecting Mexico’s heritage entail managementdeficiencies as well as unmonitored development. These risks affectapproximately 77 percent of properties in Mexico while naturaldisasters account for 67 percent. Similarly, other problems facingMexico based on their cultural and natural heritage entail shortagesin water supply and an increase in the amounts of groundwater. Theseissues contribute towards the major concerns of the nation to securetheir heritage where one significant policy employed entailsmonitoring the country with the aim of understanding how it operatesas well as the preservation of the world heritage sites (Röttjer,2015). The achievement of the policy saw Mexico take part in theUNESCO world heritage activities where it receives acceptance as astate party in 1946. Most importantly, in 1999, Mexico participatedin the campaign against the agenda to expand a salt company tocommercial scale in the last pristine birthing lagoon for the Pacificgray whale. The campaign was launched by the World Heritage communitythat warned the Mexican government in advance against the threatswhich resulted in the refusal of permission for the company (Röttjer,2015).

Theinvolvement of Mexico in activities carried out by the World HeritageCommittee facilitates the reduction of the impact of disasters. Forinstance, research indicates that Mexico harbors buildingsconstructed in traditional techniques and that they have proven quiteprone to quakes (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016). However, theirstate membership into the UNESCO convention where their cultural andnatural sites comprise the world`s heritage list in dangerfacilitates in the protection and maintenance of such sites.Similarly, the Mexican government ensures the local protection oftheir cultural and natural heritage through the deployment of a taskforce that focuses on implementing the objectives of the Committee(UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016).

TheContents

Thecurrent situation in Mexico entails over population where most of thepeople lack job opportunities despite the country having some of theproperties listed on the World Heritage List. These factors lead to adecline in the rates of tourism as most of the local people rely onthe resources available. Additionally, availability of water andtransportation hinder the development of the nation thus bring downthe ambiance of the country that may attract tourists (“Mexico|United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,”2016). Most importantly, overpopulation in Mexico drives people toseek for food from the available sources of water and thus bringsabout overfishing that encroaches on the endangered species’habitats. Similarly, Mexico faces the challenges such as maintenanceand mismanagement of the properties. The preservation and managementof the nation and its cities and towns, as well as other monumentsand infrastructure, entails the responsibility of the governmentsectors. However, these areas lack sufficient resources that wouldfacilitate the renovation and maintenance of the monuments (“Mexico|United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,”2016).

Nevertheless,the Mexican government incorporates an appropriate approach aimed atsafeguarding world heritage. For instance, Mexico partnered withUNESCO in the objective of strengthening UNESCO’s actions forHeritage Protection (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016). Thepartnership focused on protecting, restoring and enhancing the urbanensembles and well as protect the cities which would eventually leadto the identification of solutions. Besides, it also allowed for theproposal of efficient procedures that would hinder encroachment ofhuman activities in the marine sites (UNESCO World Heritage Center,2016).

TheMexican Government employs several strategies in ensuring that theyadhere to the requirements of active tourism and maintenance of worldheritage. The first approach involves the Ministry of Education andCulture as well as the UNESCO and its conventions. Over the lastdecade, Mexico has intensified its operations in safeguarding itscultural and natural heritage through taking part in various UNESCOconventions. For instance, in 2006, Mexico ratified the Convention onthe Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage held in Paris.These were followed closely by the ratification of the Convention onthe Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressionin 2007 (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016). The ratification ofthese conventions ensures that Mexico provided relevant policiesnecessary for conserving their cultural and natural heritage.Nevertheless, the achievement of these policies occurs through thegovernment acting as an intermediary between UNESCO standards and theinitiatives of the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO World HeritageCenter, 2016).

Consequently,at an international level, the Mexican government supports theactions of the United Nations through its membership since 1946.Additionally, Mexico deployed a task force that handles theinitiatives of UNESCO as well as indicates their cooperation. Forinstance, the team serves on the Governing Board of the UNESCOInstitute for Statistics (“Mexico| United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization,” 2016). Additionally, thenation also took part in the international meeting on capacitybuilding to support the conservation of world heritage sites. Themeeting focused on the enhancement of sustainable development forlocal communities in small island developing states. The essence oftheir participation included the strengthening of the capacity in thenomination process to the world heritage list. Further, Mexico takespart in the International Committee on Risk Preparedness (ICRP) whereit enhances the state of preparedness within the heritageinstitutions related to disasters of natural or man-made sources.Mexico participates in the promotion of better integration of theprotection of heritage structures, management of local andinternational disasters as well as mitigation and relief operations(“Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganization,” 2016). Besides, Mexico also contributes financiallyto the activities of UNESCO with the aim of facilitating theidentification of threatened heritage sites.

Recommendationsfor Action

Firstly,Mexico should enhance the management of the protected sites with thegoal of achieving sustainable management of world heritageproperties. Regardless of their undivided devotion to the initiativesof the UNESCO, Mexico desires to see the international communityintensify their attention on maintaining the values of the siteslisted. However, the achievement of such activities would occurthrough dealing with the conservation of locations where immediatechallenges exist. Some of the problems requiring attention includethe development of sites that need an environmental impact assessmentand sustainability through a disaster preparedness program (“Mexico|United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,”2016). Additionally, Mexico hopes that the international communitythrough UNESCO would adopt and implement a management plan thatfocuses on the development of a common goal for the key peopleinvolved in the conservation and management of the sites. Theseshould be coupled with the development of programs and policies formanagers and stakeholders based on tourism in ensuring sustainability(“Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganization,” 2016). The prevalence of such activities requiresthe establishment of a potential impact on the Outstanding UniversalValue of a site that occurs as a result of development in theapplication of environmental and heritage impact assessment. Thesefactors would allow evaluation of positive and adverse effects of theproposed project on the environment as well as social and economicaspects. Most importantly, Mexico wishes that the inherent lack ofcoordination among the various international conventions should beaddressed. They should be coupled with effective monitoring of thesites conservation which would bring about credibility in maintainingthe list and ensuring high standards of protection over time(“Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganization,” 2016).

Besides,Mexico should ensure decentralization in the management of naturalresources since most of them are managed centrally with minimalparticipation from communities living nearby. Consequently, Mexicowould like to enhance the assessment of the impacts on heritage withthe aim of clarifying on the potential effects on the heritagevalues. These would be followed closely by the implementation ofproper monitoring systems that will facilitate prior detection ofpossible outcomes on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of theproperties.

Besides,Mexico would like to accomplish the conservation of their naturalresources through broader international efforts that exceed specificsites (“Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganization,” 2016). The achievement of such activities wouldinvolve the implementation of the factors propagated in theConvention for the Protection of migratory birds and game mammals.The protection of their sites would incorporate a permanent balancebetween the interests of the local communities who depend on thenatural resources and the resolutions of the world heritagecommittee. It would also ensure the employment of skilled andmotivated staff equipped with adequate funding and full support fromlocal communities in conserving and managing tourism activities.These should be followed closely by the development of strong localheritage management institutions that would bring about theestablishment of specific regulations concerning the perimeters andheritage to be safeguarded. There should also be the establishment ofan information and communication policy based on community managementof heritage inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Nevertheless,other member states look up to and work in collaboration with Mexicoin making greater strides in the diversification of the worldheritage list and making it completely balanced and representative ofthe world’s heritage. The state parties in the world heritageconvention consistently add pressure to Mexico to ensure that theirnatural and cultural heritage sites are adequately safeguarded basedon the standards of the committee (“Mexico| United NationsEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,” 2016).

References

Arazi,&nbspN.(2011). Safeguarding Archaeological Cultural Resources inAfrica—Policies, Methods, and Issues of (None) Compliance.&nbspAfricanArchaeological Review,&nbsp28(1),27-38. Doi: 10.1007/s10437-011-9090-8

Bortolotto,&nbspC.(2015). UNESCO, cultural heritage, and outstanding universal value:value-based analyses of the World Heritage and Intangible CulturalHeritage Conventions.International Journal of Heritage Studies,&nbsp21(5),528-530. doi:10.1080/13527258.2015.1024462

Engelhardt,&nbspR.&nbspA.(2014). Community Partnerships in Safeguarding World CulturalHeritage.Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology,1608-1613. Doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1939

Meskell,&nbspL.(2013). UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention at 40.&nbspCurrentAnthropology,&nbsp54(4),483-494. Doi: 10.1086/671136

Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.(2016). Retrieved fromhttp://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/worldwide/unesco-regions/latin-america-and-the-caribbean/mexico/

Revisionof Environment &amp Planning Laws | Spatial planning andinfrastructure | Government.nl. (2012). Retrieved fromhttps://www.government.nl/topics/spatial-planning-and-infrastructure/contents/revision-of-environment-planning-laws

Röttjer,&nbspJ.(2015). Safeguarding “Negative Historical Values” for the Future?Appropriating the Past in the UNESCO Cultural World Heritage SiteAuschwitz-Birkenau.&nbspAbImperio,2015(4),130-165. doi:10.1353/imp.2015.0091

UNESCOWorld Heritage Center. (2016). World Heritage Centre – ReducingDisasters Risks at World Heritage Properties. Retrieved fromhttp://whc.unesco.org/en/disaster-risk-reduction/

UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)

UNITEDNATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)

POSITIONPAPER

SAFEGUARDINGWORLD HERITAGE

InstitutionalAffiliations

Thepride of a nation regarding its cultural and natural heritageemanates from the ability to provide a healthy environment. It mayalso occur through the capacity of the country to protect its membersfrom natural disasters, invasion of their natural values andmaintenance of their cultural heritage. However, the 21st centurybrings about a variety of issues facing nations across the worldconcerning safety, a healthy environment, and rational urbanization.Some of the problems facing these countries entail conflictsinvolving ammunition, natural disasters, and unmonitored touristdevelopment just to mention a few (Williams, 2011). These issuesbring about imminent threats to the heritage of nations throughsignificant losses in the historical authenticity, culturalimportance. Additionally, the culture of the country may face theseimminent threats through a significant reduction in the number ofendangered species, severe deterioration of the natural beauty oreven encroachment of humans on physical boundaries (Williams, 2011).

TheKingdom of the Netherlands faces some of these challenges throughconditions threatening the characteristics which inscribe the nationon the World Heritage List. Some of the imminent threats tend tobring about negative impacts of the government about World Heritagevalues. Nevertheless, the country employs a variety of policies aimedat eradicating the severe threats with the emphasis on protectingtheir cultural and natural heritage. For instance, in 2013Netherlands organized a conference dubbed protecting deltas throughculture helps (Engels and Westrik, 2012). The conference utilizedexamples from other nations such as Cambodia and Amsterdam to portraythat heritage may serve as an inspiration for sustainable future forDelta cities as well as other areas impacted by water challenges. Thecrucial elements discussed in the conference included the interplaybetween water and Heritage by the World Bank as well as UNESCO(Engels and Westrik, 2012). The aim of such activities addressing theissues adversely affecting the cultural and natural heritage of thecountry.

TheContents

Thetourism sector in every nation serves a significant purpose incontributing to the economy. However, the appreciation of sceneriesas well as sites in the nation that may attract tourists requiresafeguarding and protection in that they portray the culture of thepeople within the country. Additionally, tourist attraction sitesneed a safe environment, and the government plays a vital role inensuring that the country enjoys protection from floods, reliabilityof water supplies and national defense (Bortolotto, 2015). Theseelements contribute towards the depiction of the country as adestination where people may invest, live, and visit now and then.Most importantly, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)indicates that tourism contributes an estimate of 12 percent towardsthe world’s total Gross National Product (Bortolotto, 2015). Theresearch focused on the growth of these figures indicates thattourism entails an increasingly essential factor in the organizationand management at UNESCO World Heritage sites. Furthermore, theinscription of a site on the World Heritage site occurs by anincrease in the visitation rates (Bortolotto, 2015).

Thetourism industry brings about a variety of advantages where the firstone entails the fact that the fees obtained from visitors or evendonations, provide funds for restoring and protecting the sites.Secondly, visitors to these places may receive recruitment aspartners or friends and in turn, facilitate the generation ofinternational support. Additionally, tour operators, as well as hotelchains, may play a significant role in managing a site throughfinancial contributions, helping in monitoring efforts andinstructing their clients on the responsibilities (Arazi, 2011). Mostimportantly, tourism helps in the promotion of cultural valuesthrough supporting local handicrafts or through offering alternativeeconomic choices. Contrastingly, tourism brings about variousproblems that range from management of rapid tourism growth which maybe time-consuming. The challenge for the administration of the vastexpansion spawns problems through the constant demand of clearpolicies, monitoring, and dialogues with the relevant stakeholders.Similarly, tourism activities require environmental impactassessments (EIAs) as well as procedures in the minimization ofimpacts (Arazi, 2011). The other challenge entails the allocation ofa portion of tourism revenue to remain in the community as a way ofboosting local protection, conservation, and restoration efforts.Consequently, these elements indicate the responsibility of the WorldHeritage Center in collaboration with UNESCO in offering managementskills (Arazi, 2011).

TheDutch Government employs several strategies in ensuring that theyadhere to the requirements of active tourism and maintenance of worldheritage. Firstly, the responsibility for world heritage incorporatesthe Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science as well as the UNESCOand its conventions (Gonzalez et al. 2009). These are coupled withthe Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation whichcollectively focus on dealing with natural and cultural heritage.Most fundamentally, the Dutch government ensures the safeguarding ofthe world heritage through delegation of the responsibility to thelocal and regional municipalities. It also provides relevant policiesnecessary for conserving the cultural and natural heritage of theirpeople. The achievement of these policies occurs through thegovernment serving as an intermediary between UNESCO standards andthe World Heritage Committee (Gonzalez et al. 2009).

Seemingly,at an international level, the government of Netherlands plays anessential role in the demonstration of its commitment to theestablishment of the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (NTiF).additionally,international activities regarding safeguarding world heritage inNetherlands include its membership in the World Heritage Committeesince 2003 (International Monetary Fund, 2014). For instance, theMinister of Culture indicated that World Heritage to Netherlandsmeant that the valuation of the natural and cultural heritage of thenation exceeds the national borders. The essence of the statemententailed the creation of a better understanding of the values andmeanings of the people’s culture as well as those of other nations.Consequently, international issues regarding world heritage inNetherlands play a significant role in boosting global cooperation(International Monetary Fund, 2014).

Thenational and international activities of Netherlands in ensuring theappreciation of their cultural and natural heritage have largelycontributed to the nation’s election as a member of the WorldHeritage Committee in 2003. However, the election came as a secondattempt through the involvement of a particular project managementgroup established in support of the Dutch Membership of the Committee(Kabat et al. 2012). Additionally, the project management teaminvolved Prof. Dr. Rick van der Ploeg as the leader of thedelegation. Their participation in the committee followed the GlobalStrategy in their internal policy where they employed 4C’s in theimplementation of necessary factors. The 4C’s included capacitybuilding, communication aimed at increasing public awareness andcredibility of the World Heritage List (Kabat et al. 2012).Additionally, in 2004, Netherlands took part in the 28th session ofthe World Heritage Committee where they enjoyed the privilege oflearning the necessities of the input of a natural heritage andarchaeological expert. These were followed closely by the AfricanWorld Heritage Fund (AWHF) and climate change during the 29th sessionof the Committee (Kabat et al. 2012). Netherlands supported theagendas of the AWHF through financing the feasibility study as wellas donations aimed at curbing climatic changes. Most importantly,during their fourth year in the committee, Netherlands took part inthe deletion of the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary from the inscription Listbased the matter of principle (Kabat et al. 2012).

Recommendationsfor Action

Despitethe extensive valuation of state parties’ dedication in the listingsites, Netherlands would like to see the international communityfocus on the maintenance of the values of the sites listed. Theachievement of such activities would occur through dealing with theconservation of locations in that there exist immediate challenges.Some of these challenges entail development of sites that need anenvironmental impact assessment, sustainability where sites require adisaster preparedness program (Ripp et al. 2011). Besides, to ensuresustainability, sites need a capacity building program for managersand stakeholders as well as a policy about tourism. The internationalcommunity should focus on the establishment of a potential impact onthe Outstanding Universal Value OUV of a site due to newdevelopments entail the application of environmental and heritageimpact assessment. These would allow evaluation of positive andadverse effects of the proposed project on the environment as well asthe social and economic aspects.

Onthe other hand, assessment of the impacts on heritage would provideclarification on the potential effects of the heritage values (Rippet al. 2011). Similarly, the Dutch government seeks theimplementation of a proper monitoring system that will facilitateprior detection of possible impacts on the Outstanding UniversalValue (OUV) of the properties. Moreover, Netherlands expects theWorld Heritage Committee to ensure responsibility as well as planningin the submission of the state of conservation reports. These shouldoccur through a formal and legal framework that focuses on protectingthe outstanding universal value (Ripp et al. 2011).

Netherlandsthus recommends a variety of factors aimed at resolving the issuesfacing safeguarding world heritage. One of the factors suggested tothe committee entails the integration of sustainable tourismprinciples into the mechanisms of the World Heritage Convention(Röttjer, 2015). Secondly, it proposes that the committee shouldfocus on strengthening the enabling environment through advocatingfor policies and strategies aimed at supporting sustainable tourism.The essence of such activities would lead to the employment oftourism as means through which cultural and natural heritage wouldreceive protection and management in maintaining an exemplaryuniversal value. Thirdly, Netherlands insists that the committeeshould emphasize on promoting extensive stakeholder management in theplanning, management, and development of sustainable tourism. Thesefactors would eventually result in the establishment of an approachthat aims at conserving heritage and empowers local communities(Röttjer, 2015). These may be followed closely by the provision ofthe necessary tools for managing tourism efficiently depending on theneeds of the local communities. Lastly, Netherlands proposes that thecommittee should focus on the promotion of quality tourism productsand services through encouraging responsible behavior among allstakeholders. These should also involve fostering understanding andappreciation of the concept of Outstanding Universal Value throughprotecting the world heritage (Röttjer, 2015).

References

Andaroodi,&nbspE.,&amp Kitamoto,&nbspA. (2010). Architectural Heritage Online:Ontology-Driven Website Generation for World Heritage Sites inDanger.&nbspDigitalHeritage,277-290. Doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-16873-4_21

Arazi,&nbspN.(2011). Safeguarding Archaeological Cultural Resources inAfrica—Policies, Methods and Issues of (None) Compliance.&nbspAfricanArchaeological Review,&nbsp28(1),27-38. Doi: 10.1007/s10437-011-9090-8

Bell,&nbspV.&nbspR.(2013). The politics of managing a World Heritage Site: the complexcase of Hadrian’s Wall.&nbspLeisureStudies,&nbsp32(2),115-132. doi:10.1080/02614367.2012.684396

Bortolotto,&nbspC.(2015). UNESCO, cultural heritage, and outstanding universal value:value-based analyses of the World Heritage and Intangible CulturalHeritage Conventions.International Journal of Heritage Studies,&nbsp21(5),528-530. doi:10.1080/13527258.2015.1024462

Cleere,&nbspH.(2011). The 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention.&nbspHeritage&amp Society,&nbsp4(2),173-186. doi:10.1179/hso.2011.4.2.173

Engels,&nbspB.,&amp Westrik,&nbspC. (2012). Sustainable development in aDutch-German World Heritage site: The Wadden Sea, Germany and theNetherlands.&nbspBenefitsbeyond Borders,279-289. doi:10.1017/cbo9781139567657.030

González,&nbspA.&nbspW.,O`Keefe,&nbspP., &amp Williams,&nbspM. (2009). The UNESCOConvention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: aFuture for our Past?&nbspConservationand Management of Archaeological Sites,&nbsp11(1),54-69. Doi: 10.1179/135050309×12508566208443

Hamburgport warehouses – UNESCO World Heritage / Hamburger Speicherstadt -Weltkulturerbe der UNESCO. (2015).&nbspMauerwerk,&nbsp19(5),413-414. doi:10.1002/dama.201590044

InternationalMonetary Fund. (2014). Kingdom of the Netherlands-Netherlands:Selected Issues Paper.&nbspIMFStaff Country Reports,&nbsp14(328),1. doi:10.5089/9781498359368.002

Kabat,&nbspP.,Bazelmans,&nbspJ., Van Dijk,&nbspJ., Herman,&nbspP.&nbspM., VanOijen,&nbspT., Pejrup,&nbspM., Wolff,&nbspW.&nbspJ. (2012). TheWadden Sea Region: Towards a science for sustainabledevelopment.&nbspOcean&amp Coastal Management,&nbsp68,4-17. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.05.022

Ripp,&nbspM.,Eidenschink,&nbspU., &amp Milz,&nbspC. (2011). Strategies,policies and tools for an integrated World Heritage managementapproach.&nbspFacilities,&nbsp29(7/8),286-302. Doi: 10.1108/02632771111130906

Röttjer,&nbspJ.(2015). Safeguarding “Negative Historical Values” for the Future:Appropriating the Past in the UNESCO Cultural World Heritage SiteAuschwitz-Birkenau.&nbspAbImperio,2015(4),130-165. doi:10.1353/imp.2015.0091

Tezcan-Idriz*,&nbspN.(2011). Dutch Courts Safeguarding Rights under the EEC-TurkeyAssociation Law. Case Note on District Court Rotterdam Judgments of12 August 2010, and District Court Roermond Judgment of 15 October2010.&nbspEuropeanJournal of Migration and Law,&nbsp13(2),219-239. Doi: 10.1163/138836411×571499

VanTatenhove,&nbspJ.&nbspP., Runhaar,&nbspH.&nbspA., &amp Van derWindt,&nbspH.&nbspJ. (2016). Organizing productive science–policyinteractions for sustainable coastal management. Lessons from theWadden Sea.&nbspEnvironmentalScience &amp Policy,&nbsp55,377-379. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2015.09.003

Williams,&nbspP.&nbspW.(2011). Karst in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.&nbspKarstManagement,459-480. Doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-1207-2_21